We make both free standing and fitted furniture and like the look of both.
The fitted kitchen allows us to maximise the use of the available space especially around the corners which are tricky to utilise properly with free standing units.
The usual issue with free standing furniture used in a kitchen is that, if you are being purist, then you cannot integrate appliances into the design.
We come across this problem time and time again and have come up with a hybrid between the fitted and free standing kitchen. The free standing kitchen shown in this blog post has pot cupboard either side of the range, but the sink cabinet is a more permanent structure.
Due to the plumbing, the sink cabinet has to be a static cupboard. We have made the worktop deeper so that the washing machine on the left hand side can be hidden away and on the right hand side the dishwasher is hidden. We always recommend using an integrated dishwasher as having to open furniture doors and then the dishwasher door whenever you are trying to put a tea cup away becomes a bore.
Over on the right hand side there is a gap between the sink elevation and the range cooker furniture to give the kitchen a proper free standing feel.
The framework on the free standing kitchens is larger than our fitted range giving it a chunky, permanent feel.